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Cammanron

New guy here.. Booster question

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I just started brewing... wife got me a kit last year and I just brewed it last month (everything turned out good, don't worry) and im in the process of fermenting another batch, and I noticed that the Mr Beer website sells the kits with booster, and the one I ordered did not have booster. 

Is this new? Do the previous kits have the booster in the LME? or is it wise for me to add my 'sugars' during the boil or post boil?

I'm really interested in this because my first batch worked out so well.

Thanks

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Welcome.


Mr. Beer used to sell the refills without booster.  They added booster to boost the ABV.  IMO, I always use LME (liquid malt extract) instead.  In short, it depends what you bought.  Base refill will be 3.1% alcohol with no additions.  Craft and Seasonal will be much higher.

 

Take a look at the info in my signature.  TEMPERATURE is critical for a good quality beer.

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Isn't the LME part of the refill can? This is what I ordered on Walmart.ca...

I now have 2 LBK's

https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/mr-beer-european-bonus-collection-complete-brewing-system-beer-kit/6000195343742

 

I see on the Mr Beer website, the Czech kit has the booster. My kit can't be that old since the best before date is June or July 2018.. the booster addition must be really new.

 

What would you suggest I do with the Czech kit or even a West coast IPA?

Thanks for your insights ,btw....

 

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The cans contain HME - hopped malt extract.  As the name implies, this is wort that had been hopped before being condensed down to the extract.
LME is liquid malt extract; hops were NOT added to the wort before condensing it down to the "syrup".

There's also DME, dry malt extract.  This is similar to LME but in a dry form. Here's the MRB page that lists the LMEs and DMEs they sell.

Booster is basically corn sugar.  It adds alcohol and a little body to a beer.

 

As for your question as to what to do with your cans of HME, I say brew 'em up as is.  The Northwest Pale Ale will give you a nice tasting beer at around 5.5% abv, and the Czech Pilsener at around 3.7% abv.  Then, if you like how those turn out, try them again, but this time add a pack of booster to each and see how you like that result.  Or try them with a pouch of LME and see how that tastes.

Personally, I don't use booster unless I'm brewing a MRB craft recipe that specifically calls for it.  When making my own creations, I'd rather use LME.  My reasoning is simple:  if I'm going to bump up the ABV and body, I might as well do it using something that adds flavor to the beer, too.  But when I do this, I usually add some extra hops to balance out the extra malt.

But there are other folks on here who use booster quite a bit.  It's all a matter of personal preference, really.

ETA:  Oh, as for your comment about the Czech Pils coming with the booster:  the deluxe refills include booster but the standard ones do not.

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West Coast IPA is old obsolete product...   The Northwest IPA is a craft kit.  Bigger can.  Brew it as is.

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1 hour ago, Shrike said:

The cans contain HME - hopped malt extract.  As the name implies, this is wort that had been hopped before being condensed down to the extract.
LME is liquid malt extract; hops were NOT added to the wort before condensing it down to the "syrup".

There's also DME, dry malt extract.  This is similar to LME but in a dry form. Here's the MRB page that lists the LMEs and DMEs they sell.

Booster is basically corn sugar.  It adds alcohol and a little body to a beer.

 

As for your question as to what to do with your cans of HME, I say brew 'em up as is.  The Northwest Pale Ale will give you a nice tasting beer at around 5.5% abv, and the Czech Pilsener at around 3.7% abv.  Then, if you like how those turn out, try them again, but this time add a pack of booster to each and see how you like that result.  Or try them with a pouch of LME and see how that tastes.

Personally, I don't use booster unless I'm brewing a MRB craft recipe that specifically calls for it.  When making my own creations, I'd rather use LME.  My reasoning is simple:  if I'm going to bump up the ABV and body, I might as well do it using something that adds flavor to the beer, too.  But when I do this, I usually add some extra hops to balance out the extra malt.

But there are other folks on here who use booster quite a bit.  It's all a matter of personal preference, really.

ETA:  Oh, as for your comment about the Czech Pils coming with the booster:  the deluxe refills include booster but the standard ones do not.

Thanks for you input! I just visited a brew shop, and I can see myself forgoing the regular Mr Beer kits and going on with experimenting with LMEs and my own hopping and yeasting...

 

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I would recommend slowing down.

 

Do Mr. Beer cans.

 

Then do dry hopping and adding a packet of LME.

 

Then do grain steeps (Mr. Beer partial mash recipes).

 

Then find recipes of LME, grains, and hops.

 

Big dropout rate in this hobby from people going fast.

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It is a fun hobby, but not a fast paced one. Go slowly as recommended, add one thing only at a time, then evaluate the results. Enjoy your success.

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Yeah, what Rick Beer said.....................:lol:

 

Here is a summary of what I use in additions but as suggested above, better to hold off on these until you see what it ends up like without them. Also be aware that the beer may change quite remarkably over bottle maturation of 1-12 months - so don't leap into judging it early.  Generally the stronger flavored and stronger ABV will do better at longer maturation - so don't rush it. Open a bottle every so often to see how it is.

 

Also I would suggest before experimenting with your own additions, also try a few of the Mr Beer recipes that include additions as they are well tried results and you are more assured of a drinkable product :-)..

 

However for your interest, here is what I use.

I do use booster, but generally if I only want to predictably add ABV and body/mouthfeel but not change the flavor or color. Like if you don't want it more malty tasting.

Almost any added extract or malt steep will change the color and flavor as well as giving more ABV, mouthfeel, body, head retention etc.

For more head retention and mouthfeel with no changes to flavor or color or ABV add some malto-dextrin powder (booster has some of this in it). Sometimes I do this only, sometimes I add this as well as extract.

Adding malt extract you get these + more malty flavor + ABV fairly predictably. I tend to do this rather than add grains for specific ABV etc. additions with flavor.

Adding malt grain steep/partial mash, you get these and fresher malt flavor but for amateurs like me in less predictable amounts, so I will tend not to rely on this except as small enhancements.

Adding Lactose powder (e.g. to porter and stouts) will add sweetness and body and is not fermentable.

Adding cane sugar, molasses  I think can add more undesirable flavors if you are not careful.

Some recipes use addition of honey and that gives a dryer tasting beer + more ABV again careful.

 

Adding hops and fruit flavorings is a whole 'nother game I will mostly  leave for now but you will see a lot about if you read forum posts.

 

For a simple test of dry hopping, per Rick B's suggestion after doing a few plain ones, make a Classic American Light and drop in 0.5 oz Citra hop pellets in a sterilized hop bag (soak in boiling water before putting pellets in it) for the last 7 days of the 3 week fermentation period. This will give a lovely grapefruity citrus aroma and light taste to the beer without added bitterness. A great light summer refresher in my opinion - much better than the plain brew.  This will be ready to drink in 4 weeks after bottling.

 

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Thanks, I really appreciate the ideas from everyone... The biggest challenge is when I choose to brew something other than "add water and yeast", is the quantity and and timing of said additions... 

 

All part of the fun I guess..

Prosit!

 

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41 minutes ago, Cammanron said:

Thanks, I really appreciate the ideas from everyone... The biggest challenge is when I choose to brew something other than "add water and yeast", is the quantity and and timing of said additions... 

 

All part of the fun I guess..

Prosit!

 

If you try something different, simply post the recipe here and we can all yell at you and argue amongst ourselves and then youll do your original plan anyway and have a learning experience. Its a good time

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On 6/28/2017 at 8:13 PM, Brian N. said:

It is a fun hobby, but not a fast paced one. Go slowly as recommended, add one thing only at a time, then evaluate the results. Enjoy your success.

 

8 months into it and I am still struggling with ..... patience..... :lol:

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2 minutes ago, 76shovel said:

 

8 months into it and I am still struggling with ..... patience..... :lol:

August will be my 3yr Brewiversary and even now I realize how much I don't know.  I think the hardest thing about this hobby is not the waiting, but the waiting only to find out that a particular recipe sucks!  It's difficult to tell from the get go if you're going to like it or not and taste can change immensely from bottling to post-conditioning.  Your well on your way because you already know the golden rule--PATIENCE!  Good luck to ya!!  ????

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Thanks. I'm biding my time till the two brews I have in my LBK's get to about the 3 week mark. The Aztec cerveza is pretty  clear now, but still needs atleast a week more in primary fermentation. Then like the forum posts say, 2-3 weeks in botttle.

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3 weeks fermenting, 4 weeks, or more, in the bottle at room temp.

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9 hours ago, Cammanron said:

Thanks. I'm biding my time till the two brews I have in my LBK's get to about the 3 week mark. The Aztec cerveza is pretty  clear now, but still needs atleast a week more in primary fermentation. Then like the forum posts say, 2-3 weeks in botttle.

Greetings, cammanron.

 

Obviously it's your beer, but from my limited experience:

 

If you pop one at 2-3 weeks, you will (1) waste a beer, because it will be crummy now and good later; and (2) end up feeling like you/Mr. Beer/the universe all suck. It's just discouraging to drink bad beer and feel like it's your fault.

 

I have bottled just three batches since I started my once-a-month brewing in March. The first really wasn't that good until 8-10 weeks. The second batch still wasn't very good at 5-6 weeks, although I plan to try another today at 7-plus weeks. The third is just three weeks in the bottle. I'm tempted, but will taste only the half-bottle of dregs at about a month.

 

Jim

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On 7/3/2017 at 8:09 AM, AnthonyC said:

August will be my 3yr Brewiversary and even now I realize how much I don't know.  I think the hardest thing about this hobby is not the waiting, but the waiting only to find out that a particular recipe sucks!  It's difficult to tell from the get go if you're going to like it or not and taste can change immensely from bottling to post-conditioning.  Your well on your way because you already know the golden rule--PATIENCE!  Good luck to ya!!  ????

 

 After waiting a minimum 7 weeks to sample a batch, by dammit I will find something good about it and drink it any way!! 

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